Maybe Charles Barkley had it right about Tim Tebow earlier in the week. He's "Tebowed" out and so am I. But let me be clear about what that means. I'm Tebowed out because we are entering the ninth week of "How much longer can Tim Tebow last as an NFL quarterback?" Why don't we all just enjoy what's happening for as long as it lasts? Is the success the Denver Broncos are having with Tim Tebow that mush of a slap to so many people's happiness?
Just take our friends over at SB Nation Chicago on Monday morning. There are two columns about Tim Tebow on the front page. One wants to "demystify" Tim Tebow and the other wants to reassess the Chicago Bears' loss to the Denver Broncos within the frame of Tim Tebow. The former is a 2,000-word missive that we know from the get-go is out to tear down the myth of Tebow Time. Hey, that's cool. Steve von Horn is right when he writes that "Tebow just wins games" doesn't get us anywhere. But then there's this line:
Like every other non-elite quarterback that has ever worn an NFL uniform, the winning isn't really about him, and it never will be.
The "winning" phenomenon, most especially about Tim Tebow, is a media creation. In essence, Tebow is built up as this big, bad menacing monster that no one wants to admit the truth about and then is brought down by analogy to a "non-elite quarterback" level. Because, you know, we know absolutely everything about Tim Tebow through the first two years of his career.
Tim Tebow certainly doesn't think it's all about him. He doesn't even want Tebow Time to be known by that name, as he informed reports after Sunday's game. He wants it to be Denver Broncos Time. And let's be honest about one thing: the Broncos defense, which has ridden the wake behind the media-created waves of Tim Tebow, has also helped fuel this rise. Let's demystify Tebow because he's the media darling, but let's not acknowledge that Tebow gets his chances because the defense is playing at an elite level? Let that conveniently slip out of mind.
The problem here is that everyone is too busy looking for the right explanation right now. No one wants to take the time to truly assess what Tebow is doing. And the key word there is "is." Trying to analyze why Tim Tebow is doing what he is right now is far more complex than what anyone is doing now.
Back in the 1980s, historian Peter Novick published That Noble Dream: The 'Objectivity Question' and the American Historical Profession. The role of the historian is supposed to be objective and reach the truth. And before we get into an argument about postmodernism and "truth," let's admit that there are factual truths and we then twist them to fit our perspective. And that's the point Novick makes in his work. We aren't "objective" when writing, and certainly not about Tim Tebow.
The objective view came out of the German model of scientific investigation and that eventually caught on within the historical profession. But that was the ideal that many thought should be the "noble dream." But it can never happen. American historians during World War I wrote histories that developed the image of the menacing Hun. Historians in the 1960s attempted to place their left-leaning views onto the events of World War I and so forth.
We can't escape our own views when writing about Tim Tebow. Demystifying Tim Tebow might sound good right now, but we don't have his full historical record. Even when we do, we'll still be framed in the context that Team X was in the path of Tim Tebow and that "I don't like that it happened."
So, I return to a question at the beginning. What's so wrong about enjoying what Tim Tebow and the Broncos are doing -- even if one is not a Broncos fan?
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